L160xW50xH160mm, China

This clay toy is of the god of  longevity who began his legend as Canopus, the brightest star  in the southern constellation of Carina and Argo Navis.  In the Qin dynasty, temples were erected for the worship of  the Canopus star, it is believed that when the star shines brightly the world would be peaceful and vice versa.  Canopus is also known as the “elderly star”, apart from peace, it also upheld the ethic of the respect for the elders.  In the East Han dynasty, the ceremony for Canopus worship consist of a stately banquet that included all the over 70, nobleman and commoners.

Besides the astronomy aspect, the god of longevity also has a human figure, Peng Zu.  Legend has it that Peng Zu has mastered the art of longevity and lived to an age of  767 years old!

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